3:10 to Yuma – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

3:10 to Yuma - Poster #2

3:10 to Yuma hits stores on May 2nd.


The Western genre had a bit of resurgence in the early 90s with films like Unforgiven and Tombstone. Hollywood hasn’t really made a great Western until James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma several years later.

The story adapted by Michael Brandt and Derek Haas sticks pretty close to the 1957 Delmer Daves film. There are some notable changes but the simple story stays the same. However, as simple as the story is, the real draw of the film comes from the interaction between the two main characters. Unlike most Westerns, 3:10’s best moments don’t come from gunfights but rather with a war of words. Haas and Brandt provide plenty of heft to the verbal sparring between Evans and Wade.

Character-driven films are what James Mangold is typically known for, but Westerns aren’t typically known for that. With this in mind, Mangold is able to seamlessly merge modern storytelling with the classic Western. He’s able to keep things taut and lean by keeping the film’s pacing at a spirited level. Moreover, the Mangold goes against the stereotypical sweeping landscape cinematography with something more up close. Audiences are able to get more intimate with the entire cast of characters this way.

A character-driven film isn’t as effective a film without a great cast. The best aspect of the film is seeing two of the greatest actors of our generation go against each other. Russell Crowe is absolutely charismatic as Ben Wade. He brings a quality to the character that’s inherently captivating. Likewise, Christian Bale brings his A-game as Dan Evans. Bale brings a hard-nosed stubborn performance to the role. Although his character is not as charismatic, he’s able to go toe-to-toe against Crowe. That’s not an easy thing to do.

Also noteworthy is Ben Foster as the psychotic Charlie Prince. Every time he’s on screen, Foster commands your attention with his stare and demeanor. As a matter of fact, it’s a bit hypnotic. The supporting turns by Logan Lerman, Peter Fonda, Alan Tudyk, and Dallas Roberts are all solid as well.

Overall, 3:10 to Yuma is one of the best Westerns to come out since Tombstone. Behind the outstanding performances of Crowe and Bale, the film shows us what can happen when you combine modern storytelling with the classic Western.

Movie Rating: 4/5 atoms

Video
3:10 to Yuma: Christian Bale

3:10 to Yuma hits Ultra HD with an HDR 2160p transfer and a 2.40:1 aspect ratio. It’s difficult to assess how good the video is for the film because of a variety of factors. First, the film is 10 years old—before the emergence of 4K cameras. Second, the film was shot on traditional 35mm cameras. For this reason, the 4K presentation is only slightly sharper than its HD counterpart. There are several instances where soft, blurry scenes were visible in the film.

On the other hand, the film does benefit from the format’s HDR upgrade. The black levels are noticeably darker without crushing the shadow details. The film is also brighter with very minimal blooming on screen. The wider color gamut creates a vivid and richer color palette. The details are slightly clearer and the skin tones all look natural. Overall, the video presentation makes for a nice upgrade over the HD version.

Video Rating: 4/5 atoms

Audio

3:10 to Yuma hits Ultra HD with a DTS:X and DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio track. The review will reflect 3:10‘s core DTS-HD 7.1 track. The film’s audio presentation has a sneaky good mix. The dialogue is incredibly clear in the center channel. Even though the dialogue dominates the entire mix, the real fun comes when the action sequences take place. The sound effects utilize the entire soundstage perfectly. It never overpowers and complements the dialogue quite nicely. In addition, the sound effects seamlessly pan through all channels creating an immersive and realistic sound field. To top it all off, the subwoofer adds some depth to the entire mix. Overall, this is an impressive presentation.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Special Features
3:10 to Yuma - Christian Bale and Gretchen Mol

3:10 to Yuma‘s Ultra HD disc doesn’t have any special features on it. However, the regular Blu-ray contains the following special features:

  • Destination 3:10 to Yuma
  • Outlaws, Gangs, and Posses
  • An Epic Explored
  • 3:10 to Score
  • Sea to Shining Sea
  • A Conversation with Elmore Leonard
  • The Guns of Yuma
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Historical Timeline of the West
  • Inside Yuma: An Exclusive Blu-ray Disc Interactive Experience

Even though the behind-the-scenes features are fairly standard, the historical featurettes of the film are by far the most interesting. Everything that you’d want to know about the Wild West can be found here. Particularly, the “Outlaws, Gangs, and Posses” featurette highlights the history of the Old West’s most infamous outlaws. Unfortunately, the special features are pretty short.

Special Features Rating: 3/5 atoms


Overall, 3:10 to Yuma is a fantastic modern-day Western with strong performances by Christian Bale and Russell Crowe. Although the video presentation is a bit underwhelming, 3:10‘s audio presentation easily makes up for it. Even though the special features are too short, there are some interesting historical featurettes which someone can learn a lot from.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Lionsgate Home Entertainment.

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